Wellness During COVID-19

Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe?

Man Smiling with a thumbs up after receiving a vaccine

Schedule your vaccine appointment today.

Have you received the COVID-19 vaccine yet? If not, you may be considering what getting vaccinated means for you and your health.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 264 million vaccine doses have been administered, fully vaccinating over 117 million people since COVID-19 vaccine distribution started in the U.S.,” says Kathy Koehl, System Director, Clinical Pharmacy Services.

If you’re concerned about vaccine safety issues, this blog explains how the FDA and CDC are protecting your health and safety.

How Safe is the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Although some people feel hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine due to safety concerns, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) assures consumers that the vaccines are safe. According to CDC, COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of participants in clinical trials. These trials proved that vaccines met the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality. These strict standards are necessary to support emergency use authorization.

During vaccine development, patient safety is one of the main priorities for the CDC and FDA. Here are some of the steps that vaccine experts have taken to ensure COVID-19 vaccine safety:

  • In-Depth Testing
    New vaccines undergo clinical trials to ensure their safety and effectiveness. High safety standards were put in place for the COVID-19 vaccine, which vaccine researchers had to meet in full. In fact, a vaccine must go through four different phases in a clinical trial, before it is made available to consumers.
  • Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)
    Sometimes, vaccines or medications are needed quickly to manage an emergency -- such as during the Coronavirus outbreak. Once safety and effectiveness has been determined, the FDA can provide what is known as an emergency use authorization, or EUA. This process gives a vaccine or medication the necessary clearance for its usage, before the FDA grants a long-term approval.
  • Ongoing Vaccine Monitoring
    After an emergency use authorization occurs, the work does not stop there. The FDA and CDC monitor events closely to make sure no issues occur.  

According to vaccine experts, the FDA asserted that tens of thousands of people were observed for 2 months after the final dose to make sure that there were no unusual side effects. In addition to the steps outlined above, you can rest assured that adequate studies were performed to keep consumers safe. Whether you choose the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine, keep in mind that data from large clinical trials has shown them to be safe and effective. 

Reporting Vaccine Issues

Another way that researchers and health experts stay informed about vaccine safety is a reporting system known as the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). VAERS is an early warning system to monitor for potential vaccine safety problems. Anyone can report health issues to VAERS.

Scheduling a COVID-19 Vaccine

When you’re ready to book an appointment for your COVID-19 vaccine, you can schedule your visit by calling Riverside Health at (757) 442-6600 if you live on the Eastern Shore. You can also click this link for more information or to book an appointment. You can also visit the Vaccine Finder if you live outside of the Eastern Shore area. Vaccine Finder can help you locate a vaccine that is close to your home or workplace.

After getting the COVID-19 vaccine, you can report any vaccine side effects using your smartphone. V-safe is a free smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive your COVID-19 vaccine. 

“Remember, the COVID-19 vaccine is safe, and the benefits of being vaccinated far outweigh any temporary side effects. Our team is here to help answer your questions about the COVID-19 vaccine,” says Koehl.

 

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